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  1. #1
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    I need advice on my terrarium

    I just got my first ball python and I am afraid of messing up. My terrarium is 30x12x12, substrate is coconut fibers. I have a good sized water dish and two hides, one on the hot side one on the cold side. I have a thermometer on both the hot and cold side, the hydrometer is in the middle. Right now I am using a ceramic bulb plugged into a thermostat.
    My biggest concern is I was using a heat pad mounted on the side of the tank, but I am afraid of the little fella burning himself.
    I have been doing a lot of reading on keeping them but I keep second guessing myself. I want to make sure he has a great life.
    Any help or recommendations would be great.

  2. #2
    Registered User Snakemom85's Avatar
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    Re: I need advice on my terrarium

    I'm new to this myself. I have uth (heat mat) under his hot side on a thermostat and a che (ceramic heat bulb) on a thermostat over the tank for ambiant heat because it is pretty cool in my house. My tank is roughly the same size as yours. I did add a second water dish on the hot side as the che really dries out that side of the tank quickly. I use two digital thermometer/hygrometer meters...one on each side. As long as you keep a thermostat on your heat mat and check your temps at least once a day (I use a heat gun for spot checking) he should be good. I would put the heat mat under his hot spot though because they don't do much for heating the air but do great for belly heat. Also, if you struggle with humidity and temps, if you have a screen too, you can cover most of it with something like aluminum foil. It helps a lot. Just make sure you leave enough open for air to circulate. As I said I'm no expert, I've had my guy for about a month,but this set up is working for me.

    Sent from my Moto E (4) using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    Registered User Valyndris's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forums

    Sounds like you are doing good for your new little companion. As long as you have a warm side at 90 degrees and a cool side at 80 degrees with a hide on both sides (sounds like you do) and the humidity at around 55% that's perfect. Humidity can go up to 70% while he is shedding, you'll notice the belly turn pink when the shedding process starts. Only thing I recommend is getting a head pad for under his warm hide but make sure you but a thermostat on it. To read the temps you should definitely get a heat gun (those things that measure heat with a laser) so you can properly set the heat pad's temp as ball pythons need the belly heat to digest meals.

    Sounds like you are doing good for your ball python and he will be very happy. Does your little guy have a name yet?

  4. #4
    BPnet Veteran cletus's Avatar
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    The heat pad mounted on the side does little to no good in providing ambient heat to the enclosure. It should def be connected to a thermostat in order to regulate the heat. It should be mounted under the tank with the thermostat probe secured between the pad and the bottom of the enclosure. Good luck!

  5. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to cletus For This Useful Post:

    jmcrook (10-11-2019),MarkL1561 (10-09-2019),Stewart_Reptiles (10-09-2019)

  6. #5
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    Re: I need advice on my terrarium

    After work I am going to visit the pet shop.
    As far as the heating pad on the bottom goes, should I be worried about fire?
    The tank sits on an old dresser and the tank itself is slightly raised on the bottom. I'm not sure if there is enough airflow.
    Also. Should I put the ceramic bulb on the thermostat with the heat pad or should it be always on? Or do I need a dimmer switch?
    I have a zoo med timed power switch. Can I plug everything I need into that? Like plug the thermostat into the always powered side, maybe a light on the timed side to mimic daylight?

    My tank does have a screen top and right now I am using foil to try and control the humidity, is there something I can use that looks better and stays secure? Aluminum tape maybe?
    I'll post a picture this evening after I have changed some things.

    As far as his name, the girlfriend named him Professor Snake (instead of Professor Snape)
    And I nicknamed him Smoothskin (I like the fallout universe alot.

    And tonight is Smoothskin's first feeding with me. I hope it goes well.

    Sent from my SM-G970U using Tapatalk

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  8. #6
    Registered User Snakemom85's Avatar
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    Re: I need advice on my terrarium

    As long as the tank is slightly raised and you have all of your heating elements on thermostats I don't think you have to worry about fire. As far as something that looks better than foil...you can use a towel or maybe some plastic of some kind. I found the foil works better than the towel did. Also you can cut a hole in the foil and place the heat lamp on top of it. It helps hold in the heat and no fire hazard. If you use a towel or plastic and put to close to the heat lamp it can def catch on fire. I have a power strip with a time side and an always on side. I plug my light lamp into the timer side and both thermostats on the always on side. So far that has been working great. My lamp stays on aprox. 12 a day and off for 12. Although I have seen people say the extra light is not necessary, I just like to have the tank lighted. He pretty much stays hidden all day anyways. I'll take some pics of my set up for you.

    Sent from my Moto E (4) using Tapatalk

  9. #7
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    Re: I need advice on my terrarium

    Quote Originally Posted by Smoothskin805 View Post
    After work I am going to visit the pet shop.
    As far as the heating pad on the bottom goes, should I be worried about fire?
    The tank sits on an old dresser and the tank itself is slightly raised on the bottom. I'm not sure if there is enough airflow.
    Also. Should I put the ceramic bulb on the thermostat with the heat pad or should it be always on? Or do I need a dimmer switch?
    I have a zoo med timed power switch. Can I plug everything I need into that? Like plug the thermostat into the always powered side, maybe a light on the timed side to mimic daylight?

    My tank does have a screen top and right now I am using foil to try and control the humidity, is there something I can use that looks better and stays secure? Aluminum tape maybe?
    I'll post a picture this evening after I have changed some things.

    As far as his name, the girlfriend named him Professor Snake (instead of Professor Snape)
    And I nicknamed him Smoothskin (I like the fallout universe alot.

    And tonight is Smoothskin's first feeding with me. I hope it goes well.

    Sent from my SM-G970U using Tapatalk

    You said you were going to feed him. How long have you had him for? U can use either a dimmer(rheostat) or a thermostat on the CHE. So if you are going to user a thermostat, I suggest you get a Herpstat because they have bask assist which is made to use with CHE and other types of lamps. The down side of a rheostat is that if the ambient temps in your house increase or decrease the rheostat will not adjust.


    Below are your ?s with answers:

    As far as the heating pad on the bottom goes, should I be worried about fire? No you only need like 1/4 inch minimum
    The tank sits on an old dresser and the tank itself is slightly raised on the bottom. I'm not sure if there is enough airflow
    .
    Also. Should I put the ceramic bulb on the thermostat with the heat pad or should it be always on? Or do I need a dimmer switch? You will need either a dimmer or a thermostat. if you go with a thermostat I recommend the herpstat2. I have it and LOVE IT. it also works on everything from heat pad to CHE.

    I have a zoo med timed power switch. Can I plug everything I need into that? Yes, but I recommend just getting a normal power strip

    Like plug the thermostat into the always powered side, maybe a light on the timed side to mimic daylight? No need for a light. your ambient light in the house will be good enough.

    My tank does have a screen top and right now I am using foil to try and control the humidity, is there something I can use that looks better and stays secure? Aluminum tape maybe? I used to use saran wrap, and tuck it under the end of the screen top.

    If you have anymore ?s please just ask.

  10. #8
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    Re: I need advice on my terrarium

    Quote Originally Posted by Smoothskin805 View Post
    After work I am going to visit the pet shop.
    As far as the heating pad on the bottom goes, should I be worried about fire?
    The tank sits on an old dresser and the tank itself is slightly raised on the bottom. I'm not sure if there is enough airflow.
    Also. Should I put the ceramic bulb on the thermostat with the heat pad or should it be always on? Or do I need a dimmer switch?
    I have a zoo med timed power switch. Can I plug everything I need into that? Like plug the thermostat into the always powered side, maybe a light on the timed side to mimic daylight?

    My tank does have a screen top and right now I am using foil to try and control the humidity, is there something I can use that looks better and stays secure? Aluminum tape maybe?
    I'll post a picture this evening after I have changed some things.

    As far as his name, the girlfriend named him Professor Snake (instead of Professor Snape)
    And I nicknamed him Smoothskin (I like the fallout universe alot.

    And tonight is Smoothskin's first feeding with me. I hope it goes well.

    Sent from my SM-G970U using Tapatalk
    UTH should be on thermostat. I use tile floors at the bottom of the tank.

  11. #9
    Registered User Snakemom85's Avatar
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    Re: I need advice on my terrarium

    The first picture is my strip and the thermostat my heat lamp is plugged into. ( I don't like this one because it's not digital and it took a while to get it set right. I recommend a digital one more like the one in the second picture. It is much easier to set the exact temp you want.) The last picture is what the top of my tank looks like. Someone above mentioned seran wrap...that would work great if you weren't using a heat lamp. If you put that too close to the heat lamp it will melt it. There is so much advice out there and so many strong opinions on the "right"way to do things. I say read all you can and watch all you can and form your opinions on what works best for you and your .

    Sent from my Moto E (4) using Tapatalk
    Last edited by Snakemom85; 10-09-2019 at 11:46 AM.

  12. #10
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    Re: I need advice on my terrarium

    Thanks for all the help.
    I have had Smoothskin for about three days. The pet store person said to try and feed him today.
    Thoughts?
    He seems comfortable in the terrarium. Hides during the day, comes out an hour after dark checking things out.

    Sent from my SM-G970U using Tapatalk

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